The Current

Portland doctor returns to Syria to treat victims of civil war

The new film, "50 Feet from Syria", documents the time Dr. Hisham Bismar, a Syrian-American orthopedic surgeon from Portland, Oregon, spent in a Turkish field hospital in Syria to treat victims of the civil war there.
Dr. Hisham Bismar, orthopedic surgeon based in Portland, Oregon. Main character of the Oscar long-listed documentary film, "50 Feet From Syria.

A great deal of attention has focused lately on the refugees who have made their way out of Syria, and especially on the many thousands who will soon be on their way to Canada.  But, it's important to remember that while 4 million Syrians have fled their country since the civil war broke out there in 2011, millions more are still living there.  

According to the United Nations, some 200,000 Syrians have been killed in attacks ordered by the Assad regime.  Many of the survivors have been left with severe physical injuries from shrapnel, bullets and bombs.  The medical care they need to recover, can be next to impossible to find.

Dr. Hisham Bismar is an orthopedic surgeon based in Portland, Oregon.  He settled in the U.S. arriving from Syria more than 30 years ago.  As he watched events unfold in Syria, he decided he needed to help.  His efforts are the subject of a new documentary film titled, "50 Feet from Syria". The film was just long-listed for an Oscar in the documentary short category.

Dr. Hisham joined us from Portland.